MR. SAUNDERS LEWIS An Appeal And An Explanation
From Our Welsh Correspondent
It has more than once been said that the only justification for Ibis Welsh Letter is that it should give to English readers sonic idea of what is really happening in Wales —and why. A neat pastiche of notable sayings and reassuring statistics would doubtless gain a wider acceptance than an attempt, however hesitant, to explain the
mood of dismay not to say disgust—that has come over Wales during the last few months.
It is by no means a bad thing that we are at last beginning to learn the technique of the tnea calm. We have hitherto found an easy explanation for our woes in the perfidy of government or the corruption of those in high places. The beam and
the mote. And an injustice such as the dismissal of Mr. Saunders Lewis from his post at Swansea University should at least remind us where our enemies are to he found. They are within our gates.
" Ruffian Council"
At a mass meeting held at Swansea to protest against Mr. Lewis's dismissal there
BAcKwas sonic plain speaking: A resolution was passed protesting vigorously against the filling of the post of Mr. Saunders Lewis in circumstances betraying the principles of Welsh trade unionism and also against the using of Fascist methods to secure the suppression of men who considered their own lives second to the saving of the life of Wales."
An appeal was also made to the Welsh University Court for a full inquiry in view of the facts disclosed at that meeting.
A speaker described the College Council as " the most contemptible lot of ruffians you could possibly have." A leading industrialist on the Council was declared to have said that contributions towards the college would be withdrawn if Mr. Lewis were reinstated. So, by 12 votes to 11, Mr. Lewis was passed by.
The Professor of Physics at Swansea said that the College had " rejected a man whose only crime was that he loved his
country too well." The method of appointing a successor to Mr. Lewis created a grave doubt as to the Council's honesty. The post was not advertised, and secret meetings and sudden recommendations had rendered it a fait accompli.
Dr. lorwerth Jones said that sixty members of the college staff had signed a peti
tion in Mr. Lewis's favour. Only the Principal, the Professor of Welsh (cries of " shame") and three others had refused. The student body, too, was strongly opposed to the Council's action.
Mr. Dafydd Jenkins summed up the matter when he said that the Council's action was legal, but it could hardly be called just. The President of the Students' Union praised Mr. Lewis's work as a teacher and said that no one could say that he had ever attempted to forward his nationalist views within the college walls.
" There is no thinker in Wales today." he added. " who has a wider international outlook than Saunders Lewis."
A petition has also been organised amongst graduates of the University of Wales to urge reconsideration of Mr. Lewis's position.
The trial of the Welsh Nationalists has brought to the fore many issues which have hitherto been obscure. And in the iniquitous treatment of Mr. Saunders Lewis by the College Council there is revealed only too plainly the bourgeois complacency and subservience to cash which has consistently vitiated all Welsh cultural movements.
It is 10 be hoped that the University Court at its next meeting in July will
take steps to over-rule the derision of the Swansea authorities.
Meanwhile, friends of Mr. Saunders Lewis will be grieved to learn that he has undergone an operation at Wormwood Scrubs. He is stated to be on the way to recovery, and it must be the special privilege of his co-religionists to pray that the recovery may be rapid and complete.
According to Wales and Monmouthshire, Welsh coal production increased by 3 per cent. during the first three months of 1937 compared with the first quarter of last year. Coal exports increased by 14 per cent. Steel production showed an increase of 131 per cent. and pig-iron 16 per cent. compared with a year ago. Shipping, too, has improved. The Bristol Channel ports have enjoyed more activity than at any
time since 1930. The expansion in the oil industry continues. it is stated; there being a 63 per cent. improvement in discharge compared with the same period of 1936.
The same paper states that the Llandarey Oil Refineries will by next year have an output capacity of 15 million gallons of lubricating oils per annum. 60,000 tons of coal are used each year for boiler firing.
A Welsh hymn-book, for the use of the Catholic Church in Wales, is now being compiled. The editor is the Rev. J. Barrett Davies, D.D., The Gables, Hendrefoilan Road, Swansea. He will be glad to hear of any original hymns suitable for inclusion in the book.
" For coinage purposes, at any rate, Wales is not a kingdom. It is a part of England, like the Duchy of Cornwall." This was the answer of an official at the Royal Mint to a complaint that no Welsh emblem has been included in the new coinage.
Y Cytnro, the leading Welsh weekly, announces a series of sermons. Among those who have promised to contribute the Bishop of Menevia (Mgr. McGrath).
The commanding officer of the Penyberth Bombing School has invited headmasters of neighbouring schools to send their children to visit the place. The invitation was accepted in PwIlheli, but in another village it was solemnly conveyed to the flames.
Marks resembling the face of a man in profile have appeared on the sea wall at Portheawl. " The phenomenon is obviously the effect of weather on concrete," says the realistic Weekly Mail. But most people are agreed that the features bear an astonishing likeness to those of Signor Mussolini. It has yet to be suggested that this is the latest phase of fascist propaganda.
" Many Welshmen are tremendously concerned about what will happen to the Welsh language, about the religious bodies in Wales and the way Wales should be governed. but very few care what will become of _the country's natural beauty." —Mr. Clough Williams-Ellis„ A choir of .800 is to sing at Caernarvon castle on the occasion of the visit to the town of the King and Queen.
A Welsh Book Club is being formed on the lines of the familiar " Left " and "Right " Book Clubs in England. Four books a year are to be issued, and they will be chosen .from a wide field. It ie hoped to establish study circles in connection with the Club, whose aim is entirely non-political. Particulars can be had from awb Llyfrau Cymreig, 33 North Parade, Aberystwyth.